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Josie A. Okuly
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Angelina Guerra decides to end the cold war with her estranged sister by attempting a reconciliation in the Bahamas, the site of her distrastrous excuse for a honeymoon two years before. However, things don’t go according to plan as Angelina finds herself mixed up with a handsome British agent as he attempts to recover a fortune in stolen Nazi jewels. So much for her vacation!
On the plus side, agent Devlin Shay is charming and well-mannered. However, he loses points because: a) he’s gorgeous and b) he’s British. In other words, he’s cut from the same mold as Angelina’s worthless ex-husband. Will she hold this against him? Of course, she will!
Within seconds, other gray fins popped out of the water as if conjured by some evil and magical spell.
Maybe they belong to dolphins. Angelina held onto that wishful thought for a few seconds even as the truth registered in her brain. These were not playful dolphins like the ones which had delighted her this morning. Had it only been this morning? It seemed like a thousand years since that happy time on the boat. The sharks began to circle them almost casually, as if they had all the time in the world. Angelina tried to remember everything she knew about shark attacks, but her mind went blank and refused to function. The one thing which stuck in her mind was the scene from a scary shark movie when a man’s leg slowly sank to the bottom of the sea after it had been bitten off by a Great White shark. The more she thought about it, the faster she shifted into panic mode. Soon, she was splashing around without rhyme or reason and feverishly treading water without making any headway toward the Diana.
“Angelina!” Devlin’s voice cut through her panic. “Try to stay upright in the water without moving your hands or feet. Try not to look like something a shark would enjoy eating.”
With an obvious effort Angelina did as she was told without question. She wondered if she was going into shock as she struggled to focus her mind on the task at hand. She refused to look at the sharks as she fought to keep her head above the water, while barely moving her arms or legs. Her concentration slipped when something rough and sandpapery brushed against the back of her leg. Fighting the urge to scream, she fixed her attention on Devlin’s face, the only part of his body visible to her. Imitating his lack of movement, she forced herself to become as still as a piece of driftwood.
Angelina lost track of time as the sun beat down on her face and the salt water stung her eyes. She licked her dry, cracked lips as she kept her attention focused on Devlin’s eyes. Her body felt rigid and cold, as if she were swimming in the icy waters of Antarctica instead of the warm Caribbean.
“Angelina, listen to me,” said Devlin. “When I say go, swim for the boat as fast as you can. They’re thinning out now. Do you understand? This is our best chance.”
She nodded with only the barest movement of her head. She couldn’t turn her head toward the sharks because she feared the spiraling panic would overtake her and then she’d be lost.
Two gray fins were still visible in her peripheral vision, and she prayed there weren’t more hungry mouths under the water, invisible to her but zeroing in on her delicious flesh....
“Go now! Swim!” Devlin commanded.
For a moment she just stared at him, paralyzed by her fear. Then she began to swim as if her life depended on the speed of her strokes. She realized it might very well depend on that, which caused her to swim even faster. The Diana was like a mirage in the distance nearly impossible to reach, a tiny speck on the horizon. Angelina drew on reserves of strength she didn’t know she possessed and increased her speed as the Diana grew larger in her sights. She didn’t dare look over her shoulder to see if Devlin was still behind her. Her lungs burned with the prolonged effort of swimming at such an unforgiving pace, yet she forced herself to keep going until she had forced every molecule of energy from her tired limbs.
The boat. At last.
Angelina grabbed for the ladder and then struggled to pull herself up and into the boat. It was almost impossible because her upper body strength was spent. Her arms felt like they were made of jelly and she lost her grip on the ladder and slipped back into the sea. Something grabbed the back of her leg and she screamed with her last bit of energy.
“Get a move on,” said Devlin. “We’re still not out of the shark soup.”
Ever since I was a small child, I’ve had my nose stuck in a book. Nothing in my childhood world compared to a visit to the library, since I yearned to spend every waking moment exploring the treasured books that lined the shelves.
I started writing stories and poems when I received my first diary at the age of nine. Through the years I’ve filled many diaries with my scribbles, drawings and observations.
In college I studied history and archaeology as I pursued my dream of becoming an explorer of lost civilizations. I didn’t become the next Indiana Jones, but I never lost my love of writing.
When my son started kindergarten, I rejoined the work force as a substitute teacher. At the same time, I began to seriously pursue a writing career. I sold two children’s books and then toyed with the idea of writing a full-length novel.
I’ve always loved classic caper films such as How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, The Thief who Came to Dinner with Ryan O’Neal and Jacqueline Bisset, and The Hot Rock with Robert Redford. These movies fueled my desire to write a fast-paced romantic caper with a colorful setting and humorous, eccentric characters. With A Mermaid in Paradise, I was able to visit the sunny islands of the Bahamas again, if only in my imagination.
I share my busy life with my husband, son, and a feisty feline named Frodo. Contact me at email@example.com .
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 274
Paper Weight (lb): 11.6
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